This article also exists in German
_Due to the COVID-19 situation, intellectual property offices have taken several measures to adapt the day to day affairs. Offices are continuing their activities remotely, their premises are closed to visitors and they are extending some deadlines.
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At Benelux level
By a statement on 20th March 2020, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (hereinafter “BOIP”) decided to :
- Postpone all current deadlines sine die
- Type of actions: No requests or procedures including oppositions will be withdrawn by the BOIP even of they are not submitted or received on time.
- Date: Sine die means that for now, no official date has been defined for the end of the postponement of the deadline. The BOIP will determine the date called “BAU date” “where it will once again be reasonably possible for entrepreneurs and intellectual property professionals from the Benelux countries to work on a regular basis“. This date will be communicated in due time.
- Give additional period of time for specific procedures
- Type of actions: For requests and procedures whose deadlines (i) have expired between 16 March 2020 and “BAU date” or (ii) would expire in less than one month from the “BAU date”.
- Time period: Additional period of one month which will be counted from “BAU date”.
Concerning the information mentioned here above, IT systems of BOIP automatically apply rules concerning trademark registration and opposition. As the BOIP will not operate on it, the register may not reflect the accurate status of certain trademarks.
- The preferred means of communication is the following address: email@example.com;
- In case of an urgent question, the applicant shall e-mail the BOIP with his/her phone number with a request to call you back;
- There will be no individual notification of the statement from BOIP.
At the European level
By a decision of its Executive Director on 16th March 2020, clarified by a technical note of 19th March 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter “EUIPO”) decided to postpone all upcoming deadlines until 1 May 2020:
- Time period: The postponement apply to all deadlines expiring between 9 March and 30 April 2020 inclusive. Time limits are extended until 1 May 2020. This means an extension until Monday 4 May, given that Friday 1 May is a public holiday.
- Automatic extension: Deadlines are extended automatically. As a consequence, no action is required for interested parties.
- Type of actions: It applies for any proceeding before the EUIPO, not before other authorities and only relates to trade mark and design matters.
The Office IT systems have been adapted to ensure that deadlines which were due to expire before the date of extension are respected. In the event a communication from the Office does not comply with the extension granted, the Office will issue a correction either ex officio or following a written request from the user indicating the file number concerned.
- The usual contact points will continue to operate for receiving queries by phone or email at +34 965 139 100 / firstname.lastname@example.org;
- There will be no individual notification of the decision from EUIPO.